The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued a final rule codifying current USPTO practice relating to certification marks.

Certification marks are used by authorized users to indicate the following: (1) goods or services have been certified as to quality, materials, or mode of manufacture; (2) goods or services have been certified to originate in a specific geographic region; and/or (3) the work or labor on goods or for services was certified to have been performed by a member of a union or other organization, or to certify that the performer meets certain standards.

Under the new rules, certification mark owners will be required to file registration maintenance documents with the USPTO to include certification standards, in the event the standards were not previously provided or have changed. The purpose of the rule is to help ensure that the public record contains current information about what standards are being used to certify goods or services under the mark.

This article appeared in the June 2015 issue of MarkIt to Market. To view our past issues, as well as other firm newsletters, please click here.